In the United States and many other countries, companies or developers or manufacturers must pay patent royalties to use an MP3 player or MP3 Encoder or Windows movie decoders. There is also conflicts between patent licenses and the licenses of application source code, so mp3 support is not provided out of box. This has been done for legal reasons. Now, Canonical (parent company for Ubuntu) offering proprietary Codecs for Ubuntu Linux. From the blog:
For the first time we are making codecs for media playback and a DVD player, from our partners at Fluendo and Cyberlink, available through the Ubuntu store. We have had relationships with these companies for a while and to date we have offered their products to our hardware partners as pre-install options.
Now though, we are making them available to all users. It is important to us that no matter how you choose to access Ubuntu, pre-installed or as a free download, that you can have a similarly rich experience. The vast majority of our current users will have installed Ubuntu themselves. These users should also be allowed legal DVD and media playback and so we have built a way of letting them do this.
This is available for both supported and freely downloaded version. Sysadmin because even developers need heroes!!!
So Do Illegal codecs (shady definition ) scare you as a Linux user? According to Adrian Kingsley-Hughes:
… Iâ€™m especially interested in rolling out Ubuntu onto older PCs and notebooks where installing Windows will put too much of a strain on the hardware. But thereâ€™s one aspect of Ubuntu, and Linux in general for that matter, thatâ€™s putting me off. This is the fact that to play a DVD or use WMA/WMV files I have to install codecs that are technically illegal to use.
Linux has a number of really strong points that go beyond the price (reliability, ease of use and low hardware requirements to name but a few), but the operating system falls short when it comes to legally supporting file formats such as MP3, WMA/WMV and DVDs. Itâ€™s not that you donâ€™t have support for these formats available, itâ€™s that adding support means entering into some really shady legal territory…
A good question, what do you think? Should patent holder care more about codecs or all downloaded music / mp3 and other formats? One can convert his / her collection to open formats. Luckily in my country there is no such stupid law exists.
Illegal Codecs Put Me Off Linux (via /.)
 In many countries (outside USA) codecs are not illegal.